On-Air Highlights

Pearl Harbor Documentaries

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Nov 14, 2016 9:54 AM
USS Arizona Expedition RESIZE.jpg

Exterior shot of the USS Arizona memorial

Two new documentaries about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor - USS Oklahoma: The Final Story and Pearl Harbor - Into the Arizona airs on WITF on Wednesday, November 23, from 8-10 pm. The special broadcasts will air in advance of the 75th anniversary of the December 7 attack.

  • Pearl Harbor - Into the Arizona, airing at 9 pm ET on November 23 is a one-hour film about a landmark expedition to the USS Arizona, one of the most sacred war graves in the world. Since its sinking 75 years ago, no one has seen deep inside the ship, where more than 1,000 sailors lost their lives. This film follows an expedition team that uses an advanced ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) to explore the lower decks of the USS Arizona for the first time since it sank. Pearl Harbor - Into the Arizona features interviews with several Pearl Harbor survivors, including Don Stanton, one of the few remaining survivors of the USS Arizona. The special follows Stanton's emotional journey back to the Arizona, where he joins the expedition team and watches a live video feed from the ROV as it explores inside his ship, a sight he never thought he would see again. Never before seen 8mm movies taken by Ensign Carl Weeden transport viewers back to the days aboard the Arizona prior to the attack and provide the human backstory to the ghostly reminders uncovered by the modern-day exploration.
  • Pearl Harbor - USS Oklahoma: The Final Story is a one-hour film that looks at the attack on Pearl Harbor with a focus on the sinking of the USS Oklahoma. The film features first-person accounts from survivors who describe the attack in vivid, harrowing detail -- from the moments just before the attack, through every detail of the terrifying hours, to the days afterward spent trying to rescue the sailors trapped aboard. But the story of the USS Oklahoma didn't end on December 7th, 1941. For 75 years, families have waited for remains of "unknown" sailors to be identified and returned, and many questions still surround a lingering mystery: Why did the USS Oklahoma sink and capsize so quickly? Pearl Harbor - USS Oklahoma: The Final Story will tell the stories of these unidentified sailors' final homecoming, and dive into the mystery of the little-known Japanese "midget subs" that may have been responsible for the Oklahoma's fate. 

WITF will also broadcast an additional documentary on December 7 from the WW II Foundation:

  • Remember Pearl Harbor chronicles the personal stories of veterans and citizens who witnessed the surprise attack by the Japanese on the American Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941, launching the United States into World War II. Using archival footage and photos and graphics, the documentary shows in detail the bombings on Oahu, along with the fiery explosion of the USS Arizona, the sinking of the USS Oklahoma, and the attacks on Hickam Field, as well as on other parts of the island. Remember Pearl Harbor documents the 75th anniversary, the tragic events and the courageous acts of those who were in or near Pearl Harbor on that day. The film includes first-person accounts from sailors, airmen, soldiers and civilians, including Lou Conter, USS Arizona; James Downing, USS Virginia; Vernon Carter, US Army Air Corps, Hickam Field; and Barbara Kotinek, who was just six years old at the time and lived within eyesight of Pearl Harbor. Watch Remember Pearl Harbor Wednesday December 7 at 9:00pm on WITF. 

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